Connect with us

Rugby League News

“The game has stood still for too long” – IMG’s intervention a huge positive claims former Super League forward

Keith Mason

IMG’s introduction into rugby league has been hailed by many within the sport, though the jury is still out on if this is the right direction for the game.

Many were left with questions following the first published gradings last month as clubs learned of their first official score and were ranked on the ‘IMG grading criteria league table’, with only the top 12 making into Super League.

Of course, these first official gradings didn’t dictate anything in terms of league standings or divisions at this stage, with the scores at this point next year to determine which league each club will be in for the 2025 season.

For many, this has taken away the jeopardy of on-field performance, with promotion and relegation scrapped, but the changes have been heralded as ‘necessary’ by one former Super League player.

Ex-St Helens, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers prop Keith Mason believes IMG’s input is needed in rugby league in the UK to try improve facilities, performance and get the sport moving forward.

“I think a change was needed,” Mason told Serious About Rugby League. “Rugby League is stuck in their old ways, and Rugby League genuinely is the M62 corridor; when you look at the best teams apart from Catalan, they’re all up north.

“For many outside of these areas in England and the UK, the sport is seen as the same it was 20 years ago, and it looks the same, the grounds and training grounds look the same.

“With regards to IMG grading, I think everything needs to be up to date. If you look at Australia now, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne, you look at their training facilities, it’s incredible – we need to follow that example.”

Mason, who also played for Melbourne Storm and Huddersfield Giants in a colourful career, currently watches his son, Lukas, who is on the books at Wigan Warriors.

Two-time Wales International Mason believes it’s no fluke that the Warriors are the Super League champions because they have the best facilities and believes other sides should use them as the benchmark.

“If you look at Wigan’s facilities, it’s amazing. It’s no surprise they’re the champions because they just have it right. It’s a high class, professional environment down at Robin Park.

“They’ve got the running track, ice baths, 5G pitch and great backroom staff and to me, that’s why every club needs this type of facilities, so I agree with what IMG are doing

“The gradings are there to make each club want to do better and it’s about time rugby league here tried to move forward, the game has been stood still for too long in my opinion.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Rugby League News